Community reading project is a great idea

Monday, December 10, 2001

Central High School librarian Julia Jorgensen and some fellow teachers hope the whole town will be talking about John Grisham's book, "A Painted House," come February.

That's when their community reading event called United We Read kicks off.

The idea is to get everyone in town to read the book and talk about it at group discussions to be held somewhere in the city every day in February.

To help with their goal, 38 community dignitaries are being lined up to read the book's 38 chapters on the community-access cable-TV channel.

The YELL Foundation, which raises money to promote literacy, has donated $200 to help buy books, which will be widely available.

Jorgensen calls the book a snapshot of life in 1952 that "takes you back to a time in Middle America that was calmer, when family was the center of the universe."

Similar communitywide reading projects have gone over well in other cities across the country.

Cape Girardeau's United We Read should be no exception, especially with a great book like "A Painted House."

Besides, it sounds like a lot of fun.

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